Friends, today’s Gospel explains the significance of Mary’s fiat. By far, the most important Advent figure is Mary of Nazareth, the Mother of God, for Mary sums up in her person the whole of the people Israel, the nation whose whole purpose was to prepare for the coming of the Lord. In the face of the evil, injustice, stupidity, and sin that were marring his beautiful creation, God resolved to choose a people and to form them according to his heart so that they could be the vehicle of his presence to the world. From this people would come, as a sort of flowering, the Messiah.
Thus Mary recapitulates the story of Israel, the story of redemption. We can, as it were, read the whole Old Testament in her. As the true Israel, she knows what to do, and she does it with enthusiasm. No dawdling, back-pedaling, straying, or complaining: she moves, she goes. And she goes upon the heights, which is exactly where God had always summoned Israel, so that it could be a light to the nations.